How many times have you gone to the grocery store with a plan to buy only healthy food, but halfway through shopping you start to get hungry and everything all of a sudden looks so tasty and the next thing you know you get home and your shopping bags are full of smiths chips, Cadbury marvellous creations and frozen dinners. What are you going to do with these items you think? Well you can’t throw them out because that would be wasting right? So over the next few days you start to eat all of that bad food and the next thing you know you’ve gone from fat loss mode to bulking mode. Don’t worry it’s happened to me before (more than once) and I actually ended up putting on a few kg’s just because I didn’t buy the right food and let me cravings get the best of me. So today I’m going to give you some simple tips you can use today that will help you avoid the mistakes most people make when they go shopping.
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Eat before you shop
This one seems pretty obvious but for a long time I never did this and because I didn’t I would always come back with things I didn’t need just because they looked good at the time. Make sure to always eat something that will fill you up just before going out or even eating a healthy snack while you’re in the grocery shop itself to keep the cravings away. The reason I suggest this is because when you’re hungry everything looks good and you can’t control yourself from buying the things you know you shouldn’t have. It’s better to be full and go shopping or eating a nutritious bar while you’re shopping, that way your chances of slipping up are a lot less.
Stick to the outside areas
What’s the first area you see in front of you when you enter the grocery store? It’s the fruit and vegetables section. This is one of the main sections you want to spend most of your time in, followed by the meat area, dairy and eggs and frozen vegetables sections. When you think about where all of these areas are located they are all on the outside of the store, and this is where you should do 90% of your shopping. All of these areas are where you will get your whole, minimally an unprocessed nutritious foods (as long as you stay away from deli meats, ice creams and the frozen dinners). These whole foods are going to be the foods that will help you towards your goals of fat loss and be the most beneficial for your body. Of course you will have to go into the middle area to buy things like oats, rice etc. But the inner aisles foods should take up no more than 10% of your groceries.
Unless you live far away from a shopping centre I suggest you don’t bulk buy your foods and there’s a few reasons why…
1) You always tend to buy more food than you need.
2) you tend to eat the extra food you purchase in a shorter period of time which means you end up consuming more calories.
3) You usually go over your food budget.
4) The quality of the food you buy will go off quickly (especially vegetables and meat).
Try and pick a few days during the week when you can go shopping, or if there’s a shop near by or on the way home you can just make a quick stop and pick up the foods you need when you need them. That way you don’t over buy food, you can stick within your food budget and your food is always fresh and will be full of nutrients.
Create a shopping list and stick to it
This last tip is another simple and obvious one, but how many of you actually stick to this? This one was a big change for me when I put the rule into place. Write down a list the food you need for the day and the rule is you can’t purchase anything that’s not on the list. Even if you get to the shops and realise you need to pick up something extra, you will need to wait until the next time you go to the store. The reason I recommend this one is because once you start strictly sticking to the grocery list you’ve written you’re retraining your brain to stick to only what’s written on the list, so you’re less likely to buy things you don’t need, that way you won’t splurge on junk food and chocolate when your willpower is low.
These 4 tips are very simple to implement and I’ve made them simple for a reason. The simpler they are and the easier you can follow them, the more likely you’re going to stick to your new habits, and the faster you will achieve your goals.
What to do next
Need more tips on how to avoid other shopping mistakes watch it here
Read about how many calories you need every day for fat loss by clicking here